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Made my sub 2 hour half marathon goal! (Read 1672 times)

    After worrying about it for the last month or so, race day came around with perfect weather and everything went super smoothly!

     

    We stayed in a hotel downtown within walking distance from the starting line and woke up and walked the 1/2 mile or so and were at the starting line about 30 minutes early.  It rained overnight but cleared up and the temperature was in the low 50's with a light east wind.

     

    There were TONS of people!!!  The race was capped at 18,000 entrants and hit the max a week or so before the race.  The biggest race I'd ever run in before was around 300 people so it was amazing to see all the people.

     

    Here's my view of the starting line.

     

    [img]http://padens.com/v-web/gallery/albums/fitness/start_front.jpg[/img]

     

    Here's the view behind me at the starting line.  It looked to me that the crowd streched on for about a half mile.

     

    [img]http://padens.com/v-web/gallery/albums/fitness/start_behind.jpg[/img]

     

    The gun went off and we crossed the starting line about 5 minutes later.  I had located the 4:00 pace group for the marathon and my plan was to try to hang with them for the first 8 miles until the marathon split off, but I ended up getting about 400 yards behind them by the time the runners streched out getting started.  I was wearing my heart rate monitor and wearing my bluetooth headset in one ear, but I just had it set to give me my audio cues on pace and heart rate, I wasn't listening to any music.  I got a little concerned when I started out, because the audio didn't start out working, but it worked at the first 1/2 mile mark.  I was right on a 9:10 pace so that seemed perfect where I wanted to be.  I wasn't making much progress on catching up to the pace group though so I tried to pick it up just a little.  The 1 mile mark rolled around and my audio cue matched up just right with the mile marker and I was starting to catch up to the pace group.  My split for the first mile was 9:05 and my heart rate was at 164 which was a little higher than I expected so soon, but nothing terrible yet.

     

    I kept after the pace group and caught them somewhere in the next 1/2 mile or so.  My 2 mile split was a little fast catching up to the group at 8:41, heart rate was up to 168, not bad but I was hoping it wouldn't keep climbing that fast.  I hung with the pace group pretty much for the next 6 miles.  They must have been planning on running a little faster than the 9:09 that would get them in at 4:00 on the dot because the splits ran closer to 9:00.  Mile 3 was a 8:54 split and my heart rate was up to 170.  A little higher than I was hoping this early, but I was hanging with the pace group though and didn't want to slow up.  Mile 4 split was a 9:06 and my heart rate actually dropped down to 167 so that was pretty encouraging.  Mile 5 was another 8:54 split and my heart rate was still dropping down to 164 at the end of mile 5.  I was feeling really good and the miles were flying by.  Some clouds had rolled in and the already perfect weather even got better.

     

    I'm still not sure what happened on Mile 6.  My pace blew up to 9:25 for that split, but my heart rate was still dropping, down to 163 at the end of mile 6.  We ran through a park there with some turns, but no idea on the pace.  I think I had a crowded water stop in there, but I don't really remember.  Mile 6 was where I stopped to walk for the first time in my 15K race two weeks ago with my heart rate pegged up in the 180's and I was running faster today and my heart rate was over 15 beats lower this time!  Mile 7 split was back down to an 8:53 and my heart rate was back up to 167 which was pretty good for this far into the race.  I was expecting it to be in the low 170's for sure by this time.  Mile 8 went through Churchill Downs which was neat, but the pack was till pretty crowded at this point and there were several narrow spots that really tightened things up.  My split for mile 8 was an 8:49 and my heart rate was back to 170.  I pulled my phone out and took a picture as we ran through in front of the grand stands, but didn't take any pictures of the horses working out on the track.

     

    [img]http://padens.com/v-web/gallery/albums/fitness/churchill_downs.jpg[/img]

     

    After Churchill Downs the marathoners split off and my pace group went with them.  I was feeling really good and my overall pace was still under 9:00 so I decided to just try to keep that going for a while and see where it got me.  Mile 9 split was 8:55 and my heart rate was up to 173.  Still not bad at all.  Mile 10 split was 8:47 and my heart rate finally got into the upper 170's with a 177 at the end of mile 10.  I was still feeling pretty good and just had a 5K left to go so I decided to see if I could pick it up just a little bit.  Mile 11 split was 8:28 and my heart rate finally hit 180.  On my 15K race two weeks earlier it had hit 180 within the first 2 miles!  Amazing what some tapering and some cool weather can do!  I tried to keep that pace and Mile 12 split was 8:24, my heart rate was climbing a bit now, hitting 186 by the end of mile 12.  The crowd was really great the last mile or so (they had been really good the whole way though) and I started passing people like crazy.  I was feeling really good, but knew I still had plenty left in the tank.  I wasn't really paying attention to my splits or time by this time, I was way ahead of my goal by then and just wanting to give it my best shot for the last 1.1 miles.  I was shocked after the race looking at my splits to find out that Mile 13's split was 7:43!  I don't know if I've run a mile in 7:43 anytime in the last 10 years or more.  My heart rate at the end of mile 13 was 187 so I guess I was putting out the effort by this time anyway.  The split on my phone shows 8:08 for the last .1 miles, but I forgot to stop my phone when I crossed the finish line and my phone showed 12 seconds more than the timing chip for my overall time.  My heart rate was 190 at the finish which is right at my max.  My phone also showed 13.23 miles instead of 13.1 miles, but if you do the math based on my official time of 1:55:43 for 13.1 miles that comes out to an average pace of 8:50 which is WAY better than I was hoping for.

     

    Did I mention that the weather was AWESOME!  I still ended up getting plenty warm and dumped water over my head at 3 of the last 4 water stops.  I went through most of the water stops and drank powerade at 3 of the stops as well.  The course seemed pretty flat to me, but my phone showed 579' of total elevation gain over the entire course, which was more than I would have expected.

     

    I think this turned out to be a perfect first half marathon for me.  The crowd was great, plenty of runners but not too many, weather was PERFECT, course was pretty easy, everything was great.  My wife started with me, but she hurt her leg playing volleyball a month or so ago and was just getting back up to speed so she only ran about the first couple hundred yards with me before slowing down.  She ran a 2:10:15 which was pretty good for as little as she has been able to run the last month.

     

    The race seemed very well organized to me as a first timer and everything went super smooth.  I felt great at the finish and feel like I probably left something out there in the middle of the race.  My avg heart rate was 169 which is lower than some of my training runs.  Did I mention that the weather was PERFECT?

     

    Today was my wife Cathy's birthday and she said the best present she's had in a long time was seeing the smile on my face when I told her that I had made my time.  Kinda hokey, but that's what she said.  She's been running marathons and half marathons for over 15 years so she's excited that I was running my first with her.  Here's a picture of Cathy and I after the finish. 

     

    [img]http://padens.com/v-web/gallery/albums/fitness/finish1.jpg[/img]

     

    Here we are in our finisher shirts after we cleaned up some.

     

    [img]http://padens.com/v-web/gallery/albums/fitness/finish2.jpg[/img]

     

    I'm sure I've missed some of the details, but I had a great race and it was a great day.  Hopefully it will be the first of many.

     

    That's it for now.  Nathan

    Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

    Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

      LOL, I forgot to put down my finish numbers.  I finished 2,540 out of 12,104 overall, 1,751 out of 5,165 males and 264 out of 745 in my age group.  There are a lot of walkers in this race so my official age graded number was 55% I guess based on nationwide statistics for that time and age.

      Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27


      Feeling the growl again

        Awesome job!  Didn't I, at some point, indicate you could be in much better shape than you imagined, based on the info you gave us?  That sort of fast split at the end indicates you had even more in you...you need to go out a bit faster next time, now that you have a baseline.  But, for this race, I think you played it right.  Better to go out too slow than too fast.

         

        Forget the elevation your phone gave you.  Elevation on GPS watches is crap to begin with, phones are even worse.

         

        I know nothing of that race, but if splits seem way off always be suspicious.  I ran a certified (and well-run) marathon last weekend and two of the mile markers were WAY off.  They certify the whole race, but often mile markers can be misplaced....minorly or majorly.  GPS can be wrong too, this is why you need to get to where you can trust how you run by feel.

         

        Congrats.  I hope this is just the first of many for you.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         

          Nathan, I just absolutely loved your RR and huge congratulations on blowing your 2hr goal out of the water.

          I dont sweat. I ooze liquid awesome.

            Congratulations, Nathan, on making your goal, and thanks for the race report.  Love the pics of the two of you!

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

              Great job and great experience. This is how you should run a half your first time. Kudos! Next time you get another PR.

              Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!


              Consistently Slow

                Great job and great experience. This is how you should run a half your first time. Kudos! Next time you get another PR.

                 +1

                Run until the trail runs out.

                2014***1500 miles 09/28/14

                50miler 13:26:18

                Race Less Train More

                 

                Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                "The Marble in The Groove"

                 

                unsolicited chatter

                http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                  Great report and great race!  Thanks for posting.


                  old woman w/hobby

                    Congratulations!  I love the pictures.

                    steph  

                     

                    OCD  If you don't laugh...   

                      Congratulations!! Great job!! And great pictures!!

                       

                      I read somewhere that a certified course is designed in such a way that even if you take the shorted possible route, you would still run at least 13.1 miles or 26.2 if it's a marathon. Most runners however don't run the shortest route possible. They run zigzag, they pass people around and so on, which is why the GPS almost always shows more than 13.1.

                      running is somewhat like playing golf to me.   crappy shots all day long, ready to give it up & wondering why I'm trying so hard just to get this stupid little ball into a stupid little hole but then out of the blue comes a monster drive or a long putt that actually gets into the cup.  bingo! that one shot keeps me going for the rest of day no matter how crappy I continue to play & gets me back out again on another day.   strange. -- skyedog

                        Congratulations!! Great job!! And great pictures!!

                         

                        I read somewhere that a certified course is designed in such a way that even if you take the shorted possible route, you would still run at least 13.1 miles or 26.2 if it's a marathon. Most runners however don't run the shortest route possible. They run zigzag, they pass people around and so on, which is why the GPS almost always shows more than 13.1.

                         

                        True about course certification - they require that it is a little bit long to ensure that small measurement errors cannot result in a too-short course.  That's not related to GPS, however, which measures too long because it introduces some error into every data point, making a zigzag that isn't real, and adding to its total distance calculation.  Zigzags that the runner makes, however, are additional and real increases in the total distance.

                         

                        In other words, just take all the figures as approximate, but good enough for our purposes.

                        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                          Thanks everyone!! I'm VERY happy with my result. I do realize that my phone GPS isn't perfectly accurate, especially on elevation. The course chart showed 440' of elevation and my phone ended up showing 567'. Overall it seems that the phone ends up high on elevation change, but on some shorter back and forth routes (hill climb intervals) it ends up way low. I have a real nice GPS that I use for hunting, and for kicks I've carried them on the same routes a few times and compared the numbers and viewed my path and the phone is for sure not as accurate, but it gets within 1 or 2 percent which is good enough for me. One thing to be very careful about is if you run through an underpass and lose signal. I've had to go back and edit a few of my runs where the GPS loses signal then when it gets caught back up the first 1 or 2 positions are a half block away on top of a building or something. That can also mess up your elevation number and I don't know how to correct that. One good way to double check your GPS is to use the satellite view and see if your path is one the right road or not. My old phone was good enough you could even see which side of the road you were running on. Most software assumes the phone GPS isn't very accurate and smooths it out as well. Oh well, I really felt my heart rate and pace numbers really gave me the confidence I needed on this race. I will probably leave the heart rate monitor at home more often in the future and run without any audio cues on my easy runs. Next big challenge is figuring out my next goal and training schedule. And keeping a balance and making this a long term lifestyle change without burning me or my family out with the time commitment. Thanks again to all for the last minute advice over the last month. I really appreciate it. Nathan

                          Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                          Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

                            Sorry about the ginormous paragraph above. I posted on my iPhone and it didn't like my hard returns.

                            Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                            Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27